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"While there’s great optimism across the board about the potential growth of the tours and activities tech sector, things haven’t been so peachy for all the players involved."
Report OverviewThe tours and activities segment is one of the largest segments in the travel industry today, second only to flights and accommodations in terms of annual spending, both in the U.S. and abroad. Despite its potential, the market remains relatively untapped. Not only is the tours and activities market highly fragmented, dominated by small local suppliers rather than large operators, but the act of booking tours and activities itself has traditionally been a last-minute affair. Most travelers wait until just before their trips -- or until they are actually on the ground -- to make decisions about what tours and activities to participate in, in stark contrast to flights and hotels, which travelers tend to reserve months in advance. One of the leading challenges that online travel agents (OTAs) and other active players in the tour reselling space are currently facing is how to drive advanced bookings while tapping into the potential of mobile technology to provide travelers keen on sticking to their last-minute ways with ample opportunity to book tours on demand, with ease, from their mobile devices. The role of peer-to-peer platforms is also worth examining in years to come; while big players in the industry have traditionally relied on curated and, increasingly, open marketplace models to connect customers with tours and activities, peer-to-peer options are likely to be a strong contender in the immediate future, particularly if Airbnb's new curated/peer-to-peer hybrid, Trips, gains traction. Developing markets, notably India and China, as well as smaller markets in Southeast Asia and the Americas where online tour reselling is still markedly low, are also likely to see significant growth in years to come. Suppliers will also play a key role in the growth of the market, and those willing to transition their tour management systems to booking software that integrates across multiple resale channels. Skift’s “State of Tours and Activities Tech 2017” report looks at the current state of tours and activities technology, examining key players and emerging booking platforms, software providers, and markets within the space to identify the opportunities and challenges the industry will face in years to come.
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